Six men and two getaway cars may have been involved in the killing of Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the Washington Post said on Tuesday.
Video footage of the killing, the newspaper said, show a white sedan first drawing up alongside Nijjar’s pickup truck and then moving forward to block it. Two men wearing hoodies jump out of the white sedan and begin firing at Nijjar’s truck. About 50 shots are thought to have been fired by both men, of which 34 are said to have struck Nijjar. Meanwhile, the white car, driven by a third person, drives out of the parking lot, according to the footage.
Witnesses have told police that one man was short (only around 5-feet tall) and bulky. The second was 4 inches taller. Crucially, witnesses said, they are thought to have had pagdis visible beneath their hoodies. Witnesses said the two men were masked but they were visibly bearded.
The newspaper said the video footage (which it had reviewed) and witness accounts suggested a “larger and more organized operation than has previously been reported.” The video footage from the gurdwara’s security camera lasts for about 90 seconds. Unusually, several people who run businesses and live in near the gurdwara, say police have not been round to question them yet.
One witness, Bhupinderjit Singh, was playing football barely about 100 yards away, said he first thought fireworks had gone off but then realised shots had been fired. He raced to Nijjar’s truck and then jumped into a another truck driven by Gurmeet Singh Toor, another gurdwara leader, and gave chase.
Then two killers, meanwhile, ran out of the park where a second vehicle (described by some newspapers as a Toyota Camry) was waiting for them. Three men were sitting in the car waiting for the killers.
Another gurdwara worker Malkit Singh was also playing soccer, gave chase to the two men and said the shorter one was having visible difficulty running. One killer turned and waved his gun at Malkit.
Witnesses say the police took between 12 and 20 minutes to arrive at the scene. Soon afterwards a row broke out between the Surrey district police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who are something like India’s CBI or the US FBI.
People at the gurdwara say it took police a month to put out a notice asking the public for help. And it was only in August they asked for help to identify a 2008 silver Toyota Camry.